Birther: Cruz Not Eligible to Be President

While most birthers will undoubtedly be completely inconsistent on the matter, considering Barack Obama to be ineligible for the White House but Ted Cruz to be entirely eligible, at least one well-known birther, Sheriff Richard Mack of Arizona, is being consistent.

Most mainstream legal observers hold that Cruz is still eligible to be president — just as Obama would have been even if he had concocted an elaborate scheme to lie about his place of birth — but the case highlights the hypocricy of the anti-Obama birther movement.

One prominent birther has at least decided to stay consistent. Richard Mack, a former Arizona sheriff who now heads the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association — a guild of officers who believe the county sheriff has the authority to defy and arrest federal officials — said in a recent Blog Talk Radio interview that he believes Cruz is ineligible for the presidency.

In response to a caller who argued that the Constitution bars the Canadian-born Cruz from being president, Mack said, “That is correct, I try to say that to a lot of people. Ted Cruz cannot run for president of the United States.”

“I like Ted, I’ve met him several times and he’s kind of a friend of mine, but he can’t run for president,” he continued.

He’s absolutely wrong in both cases. If you are the child of an American citizen — only one, no matter what citizenship the other parent has — you are a natural born citizen no matter where you were actually born. But if the usual birther standard was applied honestly, Obama would be eligible while Cruz would not. Why? Because Obama was born in the United States and Cruz was not. But the truth is that they’re both eligible.

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  • D. C. Sessions

    So Mack is the token consistent birfer?

  • Alverant

    More importantly we have proof Cruz wasn’t born in the US, the anti-Obama birthers do not. They have doubts, but that’s not proof he was born in another country. Even if the certificates are fake, it’s not proof he wasn’t born in the US. But there’s no doubt Cruz was born outside the use so the standard they set up for Obama would have to be applied to Cruz.

    Except in my experience the baggers who apply the same standards to themselves as they do to others are a tiny minority.

  • http://reasondecrystallized.blogspot.com andrew

    “If you are the child of an American citizen — only one, no matter what citizenship the other parent has — you are a natural born citizen no matter where you were actually born.”

    Untrue. I lived overseas, and, while dating a non-American girl “over there”, did a little research on this. There are actually a whole bunch of crazy rules–quite simple if the parents are married American citizens (one of them has to have had a residence in the States at some point), but gets increasingly complicated if one is a citizen and one isn’t, or if the parents are unmarried. There are even different rules for American mothers and American fathers of mixed-citizenship unmarried couples, mostly because of Congress being special about American military personnel fathering children abroad.

  • eric

    a guild of officers who believe the county sheriff has the authority to defy and arrest federal officials

    I think this must be inaccurate. Yeah, if you see (what appears to be) an FBI agent robbing a liquor store, you can arrest him. I expect the group means something more like the county sherriff doesn’t have to follow federal law’ or ‘federal officers have no jurisdition to investigate crimes if the county sherriff doesn’t grant them jurisdiction.’

  • colnago80

    Re andrew @ #3

    In particular, at the time of Obama’s birth, it was a requirement that his mother had to be a continuous resident of the US for a period of 5 years subsequent to her14th birthday in order for him to claim birthright citizenship (she was 18 at the time of his birth). Subsequently, the requirement was reduced to 2 years. Thus, if Obama had been born in Kenya, as claimed by the birthers, there would be an open question as to his eligibility. If the law in place at the time of his birth was taken to be controlling, UCLA constitutional law professor Eugene Volokh has opined that he would not be a birthright citizen. On the other hand, others have argued that the later law should be controlling because of the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment. If definitive evidence of a Kenyan birth had been uncovered, it would certainly have engendered a vigorous debate. Of course, not a shred of evidence of a Kenyan birth have ever been found (there is no evidence that Ann Dunham was ever in Kenya) and extensive evidence of a Hawaiian birth (birth certificate, announcement in Honolulu newspapers, testimony of friends of her physician etc.).

  • http://www.pandasthumb.org Area Man

    I bet he flips faster than an Olympic gymnast if Cruz wins the nomination.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    As a Patriotic Constitutional Conservative, I know that “our” “president” can’t be president, on account of his Kenyan birth. I also know that Cruz can’t be, too, on account of his less-foreign, but still foreign birth.

     

    Don’t get me wrong, I’ll still vote for Cruz. I’m consistent; I’m not an idiot.

  • D. C. Sessions

    In particular, at the time of Obama’s birth, it was a requirement that his mother had to be a continuous resident of the US for a period of 5 years subsequent to her14th birthday in order for him to claim birthright citizenship

    It would have been had she been a naturalized citizen (became a citizen while a minor.)

    Context counts.

  • John Pieret

    Modus:

    I’m consistent; I’m not an idiot.

    FTFY … or for the the character you’re playing … or the character the character you’re playing is satirizing … or … oh, forget it!

  • colnago80

    Re D. C. Sessions @ #8

    That’s not my information as this issue was discussed on the Volokh Conspiracy website several years ago and, as I recall, he definitely opined that a Kenyan birth for Obama would not have entitled him to birthright citizenship. There is no question that Ann Dunham was a natural born US citizen. Not even the birthers dispute that.

  • ‘smee

    As far as I recall, Cruz is only eligible through his mother – but she would need to prove her citizenship at the time of his birth. I believe he is/was in the process of “finding” that paperwork, so that he could renounce his Canadian citizenship in favor of US only. (has that happened?) If he can’t find that paperwork, it makes it hard for him to prove his eligibility for US citizenship at birth.

  • ‘smee

    re 11: oops. I just found out he got his “renunciation’ in July… Only 9 months after “discovering” he had dual citizenship. I guess Mom took a while to find the paperwork proving her US citizenship to the satisfaction of Canadian authorities.

  • Chiroptera

    ‘smee, #11: I believe he is/was in the process of “finding” that paperwork, so that he could renounce his Canadian citizenship in favor of US only.

    Nothing forbids people with dual citizenship from being President of the US. So if he felt he had to renounce his Canadian citizenship, it would be only to suck up to the “America Firstest” hyper-patriots. And that kind of makes him an ass hole.

  • cptdoom

    But Barack Obama was born in Keny . Of course, that was Barack Obama, Sr., but that’s just a technicality to the birther crowd. Those people all look alike.

  • Nemo

    Joe Arpaio… Richard Mack… how many nutball sheriffs can one state hold?

  • D. C. Sessions

    Nemo, you can rest at least somewhat easier knowing that Arizona has only fifteen counties.

  • David Bryan

    Re colnago80 @#5

    “In particular, at the time of Obama’s birth, it was a requirement that his mother had to be a continuous resident of the US for a period of 5 years subsequent to her14th birthday in order for him to claim birthright citizenship (she was 18 at the time of his birth).”

    The requirement is for physical presence, not residence; and does not require one continuous period. A person could satisfy the entire physical presence requirement without ever being a resident of the United States; conversely, a person could be a United States resident throughout the whole stated period and not satisfy the physical presence requirement.

    “If the law in place at the time of his birth was taken to be controlling, UCLA constitutional law professor Eugene Volokh has opined that he would not be a birthright citizen.”

    There’s no question that it’s controlling; Congress specifically said so (Pub. L. 100-525, § 8(r)). And when it comes to the US citizenship of a person born outside the United States, what Congress says, goes.

    “On the other hand, others have argued that the later law should be controlling because of the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment. ”

    There’s no constitutional right to transmit citizenship. The Supreme Court has deferred to Congress on the matter time and time again, because whether or not a person born outside the United States can be or become a US citizen falls squarely under Congress’s enumerated power to naturalize. The closest the Court has come to an equal protection claim against a naturalization statute was the evenly split court, with Kagan recused, that upheld the 9th Circuit’s denial of Ruben Flores-Villar’s “challenge under the equal protection component of the Fifth Amendment’s due process clause on the basis of age and gender to two former sections of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. §§ 1401(a)(7) and 1409 (1974),” US v. Flores-Villar, 536 F. 3d 990 – Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit (2008). And the closest Flores-Villar came to a successful argument was on the gender component, which applies a stricter physical presence requirement upon an unwed US citizen father than it does upon an unwed US citizen mother– although an unwed US citizen mother who satisfies that supposedly stricter requirement might fail to satisfy the supposedly less restrictive requirement for mothers. It’s a mess– but Congress has provided a remedy for persons who DON’T acquire US citizenship at birth abroad to a US citizen parent, by way of automatic or expeditious naturalization before age eighteen.

    The application of the unamended requirement was at the heart of Hizam v. Kerry, Case No. 12‐3810 (C.A. 2, Mar. 12, 2014), in which the State Department applied the amended requirement in error, and issued proof of citizenship documents to Abdo Hizam. When Abdo Hizam applied for proof of citizenship documents for his own children, the error was discovered. In spite of the fact that the error was entirely the fault of the State Department, Abdo Hizam has lost his claim to US citizenship– and because of the delay in discovering the error, he lost access to the remedy of automatic or expeditious naturalization.

    Re D. C. Sessions @ #8

    “It would have been had she been a naturalized citizen (became a citizen while a minor.)”

    The physical presence requirement applies equally to a native born citizen parent and to a naturalized citizen parent. And that parent need not even be a US citizen while accumulating the required physical presence. If the proviso of the statute applies, it can get REALLY complicated.

    Re ‘smee says @ #12

    “I guess Mom took a while to find the paperwork proving her US citizenship to the satisfaction of Canadian authorities.”

    She didn’t have to prove anything to the satisfaction of Canadian authorities. Canada wasn’t the least bit concerned when or how Cruz became a US citizen– that’s entirely up the the United States. All Canada was concerned with was that Cruz would not be stateless upon renunciation of his Canadian citizenship. A US passport would be proof of that. It’s not up to Canada to determine who is entitled to a US passport.